Little boy in garden, smelling fresh herbs

Volunteers are an essential part of ChicagoCAC’s work!

What can a ChicagoCAC volunteer do? Opportunities range from doing upkeep on our Hope and Healing Garden, supporting our clients by offering assistance during our Back to School and Holiday Drives, and helping our child life team play with children who visit the center. 

Please note: Due to the confidential nature of our services, volunteer opportunities that offer direct interaction with clients are very limited. Volunteers who interact with families at the center must pass a DCFS and criminal background check. They must also be COVID vaccinated.

Year-Round Volunteer Possibilities

Child Life

Child Life volunteers spend time with children during their or their family’s appointments at the center. Activities include playing games with children of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities, and may include bringing children to and from a therapy dog session, as well as toy cleaning/other tasks. Applicants must be 21+ and must have experience, formal or informal, working with children and families. Background check required. Volunteers must commit to at least six months of service.  Bilingual Spanish preferred but not required.

Music Magic

Music Magic volunteers must meet all the criteria of child life volunteers. They must be trained in how to play one or more instruments (voice potentially might count as an instrument) and be comfortable reading music. Music Magic volunteers provide child-directed experiences that may include teaching children how to play instruments or sing and/or playing instruments and singing for and with children.

Potential volunteers should send their inquiries to with Music Magic Volunteer in the subject line.

Garden Days

In the center of our building we have our Hope and Healing Garden, a therapeutic outdoor space where kids can explore, play, learn, and express themselves…and we need help! We’re seeking volunteers who would be willing to routinely maintain our garden space.


  • Volunteers would be expected to volunteer 4-8 times a year on either Saturday or Sunday for a 2-4 hour shift
  • Volunteers would need to be able to help weed multiple areas of different heights
  • Volunteers would need to be able to help plant and maintain flowers, herbs, fruits, and vegetables
  • Volunteers would need to be able to clean, sweep, and maintain the garden space
  • Volunteers would receive guidance from ChicagoCAC staff but would have independence in prioritization of tasks and garden needs
  • Garden experience is preferred but not necessary

Currently all garden volunteer positions are filled.

Seasonal Volunteer Possibilities

Kids’ Holiday Event | December

Volunteers host toy drives, collect and donate thousands of toys for our Kids’ Holiday Event. They also help sort through and package our donations at the center and get them ready to be distributed to families.

Back to School Backpack Drive | Summer

In the summer, generous individuals and organizations collect and donate school supplies and backpacks to ChicagoCAC. We distribute the fully stuffed backpacks to children and families served at the center so they are prepared for the school year ahead.


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